Confusion Continues

John Lundquist
Friday, University Park CC, Florida…. The scheduling confusion continues for me as a strive to be “the smartest kid in the dumb row” and win the consol singles.

Because I am a round behind others, the website last night showed that I had the quarter finals at 9 am and then would play the semi’s at 1:30. So, “just for the heck of it,” I rechecked this morning and saw the same two matches scheduled; but the FINALS then at 3 p.m.

John Lundquist (from MI) and I started at 9:20 and finished at 11:30 a.m. He is an incredible retriever, getting almost everything I could throw at him, and has a nice topspin forehand (reminiscent of my Monday match loss).

He broke me in my second service game; so I was serving at 1-3 and decided I just needed to be more patient AND more aggressive… I had to play steady side-to-side tennis and expect the ball to come back. But then when there was a high floater or attackable groundstroke, to go for the shot. (Thanks – Larry Turville).

Executing that plan well, I was able to run five consecutive games and take the first set 6-3.

I started serving the second set (telling myself NOT to let down); but lost a 40-15 lead to be broken. He held serve, coming back from 15-40; and then broke me again for a 3-0, two break lead!

While contemplating a third set, I told myself to just “invest in the ground game” and run him side to side to try to tire him out for the third set. But what do you know, I was able to break, hold, break, and hold again to recover back to him serving 3-4.

John held and I held; so he served at 4-5, taking a quick 40-love lead. Staying focused and staying aggressive, I came back to win that game, set, match 6-3, 6-4… in two hours and ten minutes.

When I reported in my scores, they told me the semi’s opponent had an emergency and had defaulted; so the Consol finals was pegged for 3 p.m.

That match was vs. Don Clark (New Mexico), who had won his semi’s that morning 6-0, 6-0 and (according to Tom McCune online research) had won the National Clay Courts Consol singles.

Another great retriever with a big topspin forehand (I am getting tired of playing these guys!). But, his backhand was attackable; so that was my game plan.

I went up two breaks in the first set and was serving at 5-2. Played an OK game; but he hit some great shots and broke me. He held and again I served for the first set at 5-4. This time, I played a CRAPPY game, with two bad unforced errors and let him back in.

We worked our way to a tight tie breaker, which I survived 7 points to five.

In the middle of the second set, I lost my legs and he went up two breaks, 5-2. But, I was able to break and hold; for him to have to serve it out at 5-4.

On his first set point, I hit a ‘fearless forehand’ to his backhand that clipped the baseline. He called it “Out”; but looked over at a friend of mine (Freddie Q), who was standing on the line, and asked him to confirm; only to be told it was good. So, he conceded the point. But I was unable to turn that good fortune into a break and he held for a second set 6-4 victory.

The third set was a War of Attrition. After more than four hours of singles that day, I was exhausted and went down 0-2.

But then, three things happened about the same time…
1) Don’s friend and practice partner, #1 seeded Jimmy Parker came to watch,
2) Don pulled a groin muscle,
3) And I got a second wind.

I was able to break back and hold; and we worked our way to his serving at 4-5, match point against. I had been really attacking his second serve; so he put in a soft first one, which I promptly dumped weakly into the net.

Mad at myself for playing “fearfull tennis” at that point, I didn’t make the same mistake at deuce. Attacked and gained another match point. On the second match point, just shy of 6 p.m. and three hours, I attacked and hit to his backhand, which HE dumped into the net.

7-6, 4-6, 6-4 … and The Smartest Kid in the Dumb Row.

After Friday’s five sets and five hours (!) of hard-fought tournament singles, DeDe had to drive the two hours back to Naples that night… while I curled up in a ball in the passenger seat.

For other results, including Howie Ames/Steve Shreiner upset of Larry Turville, please click HERE.

7 thoughts on “Confusion Continues

  1. Wow! Just checked the 60s and 65s draws. What an all star lineup. Jealous. Brent

    Brent – come across and join us sometime! PS your lessons helped during my matches. tks. geo

  2. Hey, those guys are tough and we want a rematch when Neal’s elbow is a little better so he doesn’t have to serve underhand so much.

  3. Don’t know I look forward to re-match, but will be fun for sure. The funny thing is Steve dislocated his finger and knuckle in middle of the first set and iced rest of match. Gotta give Steve and Neil lot’s of credit for hanging in there.

  4. George,thanks for the kind words about me on our match at University Park. You have a nice steady game with no weaknesses and coming to the net was the difference in our match. Let me know if we can hit sometime and/or play some doubles. I’m in Fort Myers and we’ll be moving up to Longboat Key 2/12 to play in the Super Senior tournaments there and in St Pete. Always looking for a game, John Lundquist

    John – Tks. Look forward to seeing you on the court soon. george

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